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UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition

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The Bourne Shell and Korn Shell
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case value in
    pattern1) cmds1;;
    pattern2) cmds2;;

Execute the first set of commands (cmds1) if value matches pattern1, execute the second set of commands (cmds2) if value matches pattern2, etc. Be sure the last command in each set ends with ;; . value is typically a positional parameter or other shell variable. cmds are typically UNIX commands, shell programming commands, or variable assignments. Patterns can use file generation metacharacters. Multiple patterns (separated by |) can be specified on the same line; in this case, the associated cmds are executed whenever value matches any of these patterns. See below and under eval for examples. (Note: the Korn shell allows pattern to be preceded by an optional open parenthesis, as in (pattern). It's useful for balancing parentheses inside a $( ) construct.)


Read first command-line argument and take appropriate action:

case $1 in	#match the first arg
    no|yes) response=1;;
    -[tT])  table=TRUE;;
    *)      echo "unknown option"; exit 1;;

Read user-supplied lines until user exits:

while :	# Null command; always true
   echo "Type . to finish ==> \c"
   read line
   case "$line" in
      .) echo "Message done"
         break ;;
      *) echo "$line" >> $message ;;

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